Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Merry Dutch Life: Chapter Two

De Nederlandse Keuken - Pannenkoeken
The Dutch cuisine - Pancakes

While living in a foreign country, among foreign people you have to change your habits. A good suggestion could be: behave like them, eat like them. I don’t know if anyone has ever written something like that, but I made this motto mine. And yet, it took eleven days to find the courage of doing my participant observation. Having no Dutch flatmates, I decided to involve in this anthropogical project a Spanish and a Hungarian girl. S & H were in the kitchen. They couldn’t escape me.
"Are you hungry girls?
"Mmh, yes. Perhaps.
"Let’s have a Dutch dinner!
"So what?
"What are we supposed to cook?
"I have no idea.
"But you just said Dutch dinner. Were you serious?
"I was. And I am. Yet I don’t know what and if they eat.

(Yes. What do They eat? Saint Malinowski help us!)

"Stuffed potatoes?
"Oh, don’t look at me! I come from Canarian Islands. You should know more than me.
"You’re right. I should.
"Let’s check on the internet.

Dutch Pancakes. Thus Spoke Google.

Step 1: buy an original Albert Hejin Pannenkoek Mix in the closest supermarket.
Step 2: pretend to understand the Dutch written preparation instructions.
Step 3: make your own pancakes.

We accomplished successfully the first two steps, albeit zouten (salt) and eieren (eggs) were uneasy to guess. The third step was harder than the previous ones. Yet we managed to have a dozen of perfectly roundshaped Dutch pancakes. H did a great job cooking. I washed the frying pans and the pots we used. S served the hot pancakes on the coffee table in her living room.
Without having a real conoisseur of pannenkoek among us, we didn’t know how to fill them properly. Cheese? Bacon? Caviar? Mayonnaise? Hence, I came out ringing the doorbells along the road where we live looking for a Dutch. I rang at numbers 151,153,157,159. Nobody answered me. Just a rasta guy from Suriname. I failed. Apparently we don’t have Dutch neighbors. What a pity.
Eventually we decided to fill the pancakes with strawberry and raspberry jam. Believe me, the final result was delicious. Perhaps not that Dutch, but who cares of? More culinary experiments will follow pretty soon. S & H are going to ask me for a Surinamese dinner. At that time we’ll have the expert in our neighborhood.

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